Select vintage German cars have skyrocketed in value over the past few years. Porsche 911s from the 80s and 90s, BMW e30 M3s, BMW e28 M5s and others. A Volkswagen Beetle used in a ‘Herbie the Lovebug’ movie sold last year for $126,500. Now, we get wind that a Volkswagen Beetle is on the market for $295,000. Does this mean that Volkswagen Beetles are starting to increase in value?
Before we jump to conclusions, we need to look at the vehicle in question. The restored Beetle was delivered in June 1943 to the director of the German Red Cross in Potsdam-Babelsburg Berlin, Germany. The car has a documented history in the VW archives as well as in the KdF Registry.
The KdF-Wagen was one of the first examples of the Volkswagen Beetles. A small number of the KdF Type 60 wagens were initially produced between 1937 and 1944. Since they were produced for low-profile, highly ranked Nazi party officials, and local government and military use. not many survived the ravages of World War II. As a result, they are very rare in any condition, particularly a fully restored example.
Fast-forward to 2016 and it is estimated that only about 40 genuine KdF Type 60 Beetles remain in the world. They very rarely come up for sale publicly as they mostly exchange hands privately, behind closed doors.
History of the Model
The VW Beetle was designed in 1937 under the supervision of Professor Ferdinand Porsche on the instructions of Adolf Hitler to build a ‘people’s car’.
The vehicle was to be produced in a town called ‘KdF-Stadt’ alongside vehicles built for use by the German military. After World War II, the town was renamed Wolfsburg where Volkswagen is based today.
Since the town was built to support production of the new ‘people’s car’, it was not on the maps of the Allied soldiers. As a result, it escaped Allied bombings early on. Since the V1 Flying Bomb was produced in the same factory, US bombing raids ultimately destroyed the factory. It is estimated that 840 or so units of the KdF Type 60 Beetles were produced.
Is a $300,000 Volkswagen Beetle insane?
The vehicle in question is historically significant and restored using original parts when possible. There are only a small number of originals remaining in existence. This may also be the finest example of the KdF Type 60 Beetle in existence. For that reason, I believe that the asking price will seem like a bargain in the next several years.